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Push for global trade with 24X7 customs clearing
August, 21st 2012

International trade in the region is expected toget a major boost, with the citys airport and the port set to be the first in the countryto have a round-the-clock customs clearing and other allied facilities.

Customs clearing of cargo, which for now takes place only during working hours, ends up hindering the growth of global trade. It is more than often that cargo gets stuck at airports or ports until the clearance facilities for the day open. What follows is a series of delays resulting in the piling of cargo awaiting clearance, thus slowing down the pace of global cargo transportation.The new initiative is expected to start from August 25.

Since over a century, the city has acted as an important financial hub of the country. As per the statistics available with Airport Authority of India (AAI), the Mumbai airport carriedaround 6,90,233-tonne cargo in 2010-11.

Similarly, according to the statistics released by Association of Port Authorities (APA) in May, the Mumbai airport ranks 26th among the world ports in terms of containerised cargo transportation with 4.326 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) being handled in 2010.

The new initiative will involve activation of round-the-clock services of not only customs clearance, but also those of other agencies, including security officials like the CISF,authorities of MIAL/ Mumbai ports, apart from allied services like that ofdrug controller, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, custodians of the cargo airlines/ships, customs house agents, banks, transporters, etc. In fact, by Friday a notice regarding the initiative would be issued to all authorities concerned, said officials of the prime ministers office.

If successful, the initiative will be duplicated at other airports in the country as well, officials added.

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